If you’re signed up to my weekly newsletter you might have spotted that on Sunday I was talking about documenting your journey while you’re running your small business.
Gary Vee has written lots of blogs and articles about documenting vs creating. When you want to show up online, it’s so much easier to document rather than put pressure on yourself to constantly create.
I set a challenge this week to try and take 10 pictures each day to get you into the habit of recording what you’re up to.
You didn’t need to post them, but alot of us just aren’t used to taking pictures and making a note of what we’ve done that day!
Taking the pictures helps you get into the habit of recognising when you’re doing something that your audience might be interested in.
Obviously I had to practise what I preach and this week I’ve been trying to document my work too.
It’s not always easy, taking pictures of things like client calls can look a bit strange and I took some time off on Friday to spend time with my mum.
But I’ve found it really good to stop and take note of what I’m actually doing each day and one of the biggest positives is that it’s helped me stay on track and be more productive.
I thought I’d share a few reasons why documenting your journey is so good for your business and your audience and hopefully encourage you to try it this week!
Reason 1 - It’s not perfect
Documenting your journey is brilliant if you struggle with perfectionism and it getting in the way of you putting out content.
The point of documenting is capturing the good bits and the bad, and although you might not want to share everything online, it’s good for your own memories too.
I love looking back at where my business was this time last year, 3 years ago or even right at the start.
We take pictures of our holidays and special occasions, why wouldn’t we record the memories of our business too?
But what about the moments that aren’t picture perfect?
These show you as a human and a business owner and they are often the things that connect you with people who have had similar experiences.
I’ve definitely been guilty of only wanting to put pictures on my instagram grid that are really special or that have been taken on the camera and not my phone.
But one thing that has helped that is…. Reels!
Reels are absolutely not perfect and if anything my first ones even from a few months ago look quite rubbish now. But they get you out of the routine of waiting for everything to be perfect before you can share.
You can still decide what you want to share and where your boundaries are. Some people choose not to share their children’s faces, some accounts stay totally anonymous. I don’t tend to talk about the money and income side of my business, which is interesting because my other account often mentions saving money.
You get to decide what goes on your account and what you want to use to promote your business, but by documenting moment throughout the day, you naturally have more to choose from!
Reason 2 - It's easy to build up
If you’re just getting started with your business or you feel like you’ve kept your personality out of it for awhile, it’s easy to start documenting from whatever point you’re at.
If you’re at the start this is the perfect way to build up your audience and get them involved in the process of what your brand is going to look like.
Ask questions and find out what they want to see, they feel involved in the process and you get to hear what people want from you.
If you’re feeling nervous about sharing, start really small.
If you don’t feel comfortable showing your face yet, could you should your hands making your product or packing up orders?
When you’re happy with that maybe you could record a short video where you talk and explain what you’re doing.
Then move on to getting that lovely face of yours in front of the screen instead of behind it.
When you’re ready to do talking stories, practise first!
I record mine on my phone a few times before I upload them to Instagram stories, just to make sure I’m covering everything that I want to say.
And remember, we’re not aiming for perfect, so don’t feel like it’s rubbish because you said a few umms or ahhs.
I thought talking to stories would be scary or cringey and so I never did it on my personal account, but now I love sharing stories on my business account and they often get lots of engagement too.
Once you feel confident, the possibilities are endless with the ways you can document your journey!
Youtube videos, IGTV, reels, Facebook lives.
Keep documenting and seeing what clicks with your audience.
I don’t think I would have got to the stage where I felt confident talking on my podcast if I hadn’t built it up by going live in different groups, running workshops and sharing on Instagram stories.
Reason 3 - It’s authentic
I hear the word authentic all the time, especially when it comes to Instagram, and the way I like to think of it is - does your business feel like you?
Before I launched the podcast I had recorded 3 episodes that I didn’t share for about 6 months. I thought I was just procrastinating with them, but when I listened back I realised they just didn’t sound like me.
They were flat and boring and I switched off when I was listening to them so I can only imagine what someone else would have thought.
They didn’t feel like my business, so I recorded them again until they did.
Rather than trying to create something spectacular, just show up as yourself.
It’s so easy to look at other business owners and try to follow the same path as them, but only you can run your business and help your customers like you.
I like to think about faking it until you make it, but not in the way you might think.
Don’t fake who you are - be you and share the parts of your business that will connect with your audience.
But share them when you have 10 followers or 10 thousand.
Keep showing up with that amazing content right from the start, so as you grow your audience does too.
We all start from 0.
0 followers, 0 listens, 0 views.
But if you think, well no one is watching so what’s the point in putting something good out there, or sharing anything at all? Then you’ll have nothing to help bring your audience to you.
Keep sharing and those 10 people will continue to grow.
Reason 4 - You can reuse your content
I often hear people say - ‘but I’ve got nothing to talk about’ when I ask them why they haven’t started a newsletter or blogs or a podcast.
But they just aren’t noticing the topics that are coming up every week.
Documenting helps you to create content that you can reuse over different accounts and when you're looking for subjects to talk about.
It still baffles me that I’ve found something to talk about every single week in my newsletter, but the topics usually come from a conversation that week, a message I’ve had or something I’ve been reading.
When you document those conversations you give people the chance to add their input and create a discussion that you might not have had if you kept that thought to yourself.
This week I’ve had so much lovely feedback about my podcast because I’ve been sharing it more on my stories, I’ve asked my audience what I should call my new free download and they’ve decided for me and we’ve spoken about the book we’re reading at the moment.
These topics will become newsletters, blogs and my download is now live on my website. They decided to use - 10 ways to get your website seen by more people so if you’d like to download it just click here and pop your email address in!
One picture can spark so many ideas, so make content easier for yourself and just get documenting!